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this from sources earlier. the senate majority leader, harry reid went to the senate floor and talked about the snag. list ton what he said. >> the one thing i do want to mention is that we're not going to have any social security cuts at this stage, that doesn't seem appropriate. we're open to just discussion about entitlement reforms, but we're going to have to take it in a different direction, the present status will not work. we're willing to make concessions as part of a balanced comprehensive agreement. but will not agree to cut social security. with 36 hours left until the country goes over the cliff, i remain hopeful, but realistic about the prospect of reaching a bipartisan agreement. at some point in the negotiating progress, it becomes obvious when the other side is intentionally demanding concessions they know the other side is not willing to make. we are not there, mr. president. >> right now, talks are at a standstill, they haven't been going on all day. but as we speak, you're looking at the senate floor, it's pretty empty, republicans and democrats are going into their own m
majority leader harry reid quickly moved the measure to a vote. minority leader mch mcconnell assured that no republicans block the bill. house speaker john boehner agreed to bring the bill to a vote on the house floor. and leader nancy pelosi with the number of votes needed to pass. >> what folks are looking for and all of us agree on this is action. they want to see that we are focused on them, not focused on our politics here in washington. >> reporter: that was the last time this group met more than a month ago. with time running out to forge a scaled-down compromise, can they agree on even the most basic elements, extending some income tax cuts, preventing pay cuts to medicare providers, fixing the alternative minimum tax. among the options to gain votes, averting an estate tax hike toll woo republicans. there's still time but no room for error. if congress doesn't act -- >> the impact psychologically and financially on americans of another plunge in the negative territory for the economy would be extremely harmful. >> reporter: and candy, as i said, those leaders are still meeti
are expecting to hear from republican leader mitch mcconnell, maybe even senate majority leader harry reid, as of now so far as we know there is no fiscal cliff deal, but negotiations primarily betweens those two men are going on even as we speak or between their staffs. we're hearing a new sense of optimism from some senate members who believe they might be able to pass some kind of minimalist package that would keep tax rates from going up on the majority of americans. i want to go to capitol hill and cnn's senior congressional correspondent dana bash. dana, is that the sense you get that somehow we should be optimistic about whatever it is that's going on? >> you know, as we talked about before, you definitely get a feeling or the atmosphere here is that there is progress being made but in the same breath, but, there are still thingsing to worked out. as we wait for what we generally see when the senate opens which is the pledge of allegiance, a prayer and so forth, if you see the bottom of your screen, i'm not sure if you can see it, white hair, that is harry reid, the senate majority
probably say where our senate majority leader harry reid and senator mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, because now all eyes turn to the senate. they're set to come back to town on the 27th. that is thursday. and at this point there are a number of options for some sort of bill that senate majority leader harry reid could put on the floor, but right now it appears democrats in the white house are pushing for something that still concentrates on making sure that income tax rates for those making a quarter million dollars or less don't go up. that said, it's really hard to see how at that rate senator mcconnell might allow some republican senators to support it or that some republican senators would even want to jump on board with that and even harder to see how a bill like that is something that house speaker john boehner would allow to the floor -- allow to the house floor for a vote. so things are very uncertainty point and you're hearing a lot of pessimism as we just heard from democrats and republicans about what will happen with the fiscal cliff and whether we'll go o
it does, the senate majority leader harry reid is expected to weigh in, in just about ten minutes on the looming fiscal cliff. reid and his fellow senators are under intense scrutiny after john boehner said the democratic controlled senate must act first on proposals already passed by his chamber. we will bring you reid's remarks as they happen. >>> as the clock ticks down toward the fiscal cliff, washington has a new worry the debt ceiling, treasury secretary tim geithner says the united states will hit its legal borrowing limit on monday. alison kosik is in new york. i feel like it's groundhog day. >> i know it really is. what's old is new again, right, carol? let me kind of back up the bus here. we start talking about the debt ceiling and i know people's eyes glaze over. let me tell you exactly what the debt ceiling is. it's a cap set by congress of the amount of money the federal government can borrow. right now the ceiling is at $16.394 trillion and treasury secretary tim geithner said earlier this week we could hit that debt ceiling on monday, on new year's eve and the treas
of six attending. vice president biden, harry reid, house minority leader nancy pelosi, mitch mcconnell and john boehner representing the republicans. brianna keilar is live from washington. is anybody optimistic that a deal could be done today around a table? >> i will tell you the optimism is sort of sinking. senate majority leader harry reid said he doesn't see how it can get done by january 1st. we heard from president obama before he left from his vacation that he was optimistic. logistically the white house will tell you it's possible. when you listen to what you're hearing some of these congressional leaders say, there's a lot of posturing laying blame to the other side if we do go over the cliff. take a listen. >> republicans are not about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies, watching their kids play soccer, basketball, doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, house sp
today between the president and the leaders, two republicans and two democrats. harry reid said the next 24 hours would be very important as he and mitch mcconnell put together something that would pass both of their caucuses. and then of course it would have to go to the house. the majority leader harry reid said he's readying a bill for a vote on monday to prevent a tax hike on incomes up to $250,000. senator reid said his bill will include unemployment benefits, a continuation of those. that would be sort of the plan b for democrats simply because what they would rather do is get a bill with senator reid working in conjunction with senator mcconnell. senator reid said he's awaiting good faith proposals from the republicans. president obama said after the meeting that he is modestly optimistic a deal can be reached, but as you can hear from senator reid, the president asked that if a deal between republicans and democrats cannot be reached, then the president wants just an up or down vote on what he wants, which is quite simply no income tax rates going up for people making $250,000 an
on the senate to broker a deal for the fiscal cliff. >> senator reid and mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. but if an agreement isn't reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up-or-down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends unemployment to the 2 million americans looking for a job and lays groundwork for more economic growth and deficit reduction. >> just moments ago, senator harry reid says he's readying a bill for a vote by monday. all this follows a rare face-to-face closed door meeting at the white house today between all the key players, the president, the vice president, the treasury secretary and all four congressional leaders huddled together with just four days to go before we all go overs fiscal cliff. that meeting lasted for an hour and five minutes. on a story where every second and every maneuver counts, let's get chief to white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, the president says he's modestly optimist be
reid to cobble together the deal. minority leader mitch mcconnell to ensure no republicans block the bill. for house speaker john boehner to agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor, and leader nancy pelosi to produce the huge number of democrats needed to pass it. but if that plan falls through -- >> then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. >> the president's basic package has much more for democrats to like. so don't expect that to get very far. but all sides now agree the senate must first pass a bill before the house makes any kind of move. so all eyes will be on mitch mcconnell and harry reid and their negotiators holed up on capitol hill. the senate comes back into session at 1:00 on sunday. >> jessica yellin, thanks. >>> and with the pressure now squarely on the senate to fix the fiscal cliff, they will lead the talks this weekend. a period of time reid calls, quote, very important, mcconnell says he's hopeful both sides will have a plan to present to their respective members as early as tomorrow. and other republica
harry reid and mitch mcconnell's offices. both the senate and house are meeting today. joins me touk at that about where things stand is darrell issa of california and done nan edwards and michigan senator debbie sab snow and jon ba wrasse o from wyoming. what's up? what is happening that you can tell us about? >> well, there's a lot of work going on right now on both sides of the aisle in the senate to come to an aagreement. to me there's take basic principle, and if everybody agrees we can go forward. that is, don't hold middle class families hostage to the debate about whether or not the wealthiest americans should get another tax cut. i would argue we can't afford it as a country, but the question is, are we going to allow middle class families to see their taxes go up while we have this debate? if we can agree we will continue tax cuts for the middle class, everything else begins to fall into place. >> wlho is working at this moment? are you involved in this? >> i've been in touch with those involved in this. there is no deal yet. i continue to hope for a bipartisan agreement to
's doing the negotiating? ice the top two senators, senator reid for the democrats, senator mcconnell for the republican, and it is their staff who are working out details right now. what are they talking about? mainly trying to find a way to avoid those tax hikes for most americans. that could also include an extension of unemployment benefits. what is unclear is whether other things such as budget cuts eliminating that sequester that's coming up or other things will be in that deal. when will all of this happen? the soon they could vote is tomorrow, but leadership tells us that they are just hoping to get the outlines of a deal to their members tomorrow so a vote also possible monday. that's when senator reid has said he wants the vote to hap n happen. again, just to be clear, we don't think anything on the sequester will be in this deal at this point or the debt ceiling. those are other issues floating around. right now this deal seems more focused and small. let's listen to what the two senators were saying last night, sounding more optimistic. >> it was a very positive me
-term economic problems. after a moment of spiritual clarity on friday afternoon, harry reid is working on a bipartisan deal ostensibly with his republican adversary mitch mcconnell. >> -- engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference. >> well, if the senate manages to reach a compromise, the hope is that the house would follow. that's option one. the green one. option two is less certain. president obama reportedly challenged congressional leaders from both parties on friday to come up with a deal better than the one he proposed. the center piece of which is that the top marginal tax rate will increase for those earning $250,000 or more from 35% to 39.6%. that's only on the amount earned above that threshold. obama has told congress either they come up with something better or put his proposal to a vote. he's betting even those who hate the idea of a tax increase on the rich will hate causing
on capitol hill. senator harry reid told reporters afterwards that the next 24 hours would be very important, as he and republican leader mitch mcconnell try to put together something that would pass both of their caucuses, that republicans in the senate would vote for and that democrats in the senate would vote for. and then, of course, it would have to go to the house. now, the majority leader senator reid said he's readying a bill for a vote on monday to prevent a tax hike on incomes up to $250,000. senator reid said his bill will include all of the additional provisions that the president outlined that include long-term unemployment benefits, a continuation of those. that would be sort of the plan b for democrats simply because what they would rather do is get a bill with senator reid working in conjunction with senator mcconnell. senator reid said he's awaiting good faith proposals from the republicans. president obama said after the meeting that he is modestly optimistic a deal can be reached, but as you can hear from senator reid, the president asked that if a deal between republicans
? basically the ball is in the senate's court? >> all you have to do is look at what harry reid, the leader of the senate has been saying from day one. every time that speaker boehner put forth a common-sense plan to fix this problem, harry reid would say, right off the bat it is doa, dead on arrival. not one thing that speaker boehner proposed that reid said, oh, we can work with that. it's about scoring political points. the american people are tired of all of us, i understand that. we just make used car salesmen look good. that's the only group is below us. but we've got to get our act together, and prove to the american people that we can regain the trust that they once had in us and get the job done. and as you say, not kick the can down the road. they want to us work this out. i hope we do. >> let's talk about something a little more bright. the former marine stuck in mexico. if you don't know the story, he was basically trying to go on a surfing trip. an old winnebago and a bunch of surf boards and some sort of antique, torn apart gun that he wanted to use to hunt rabbits and birds.
to see you. within the past hour, senate majority leader harry reid spoke on the floor. he really gave it to john boehner. he got pretty personal. >> he did. he really laid the blame at boehner's lap. talked about the fact that he was surprised that the house isn't even in session, which is true, but let's get real. the senate came back into session this morning. most importantly, he was very, very pessimistic about getting anything done before we reach that fiscal cliff. listen to what he said. >> the speaker just has a few d days left to change his mind, but i have to be very honest, mr. president. i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> let me kind of lay out the state of play. i'll try to keep it out as much as possible. this is something everybody is focused on. the ball is in the senate's court right now. so what senator reid, who you saw earlier, and the president, what they are trying to figure out is whether or not they can craft what the president called a scaled-back bill, which is what he campaigned on. raising taxes for everybody making more than $250,000 a year a
reid, but he and biden have gotten things done when working together in the past. can they do it now? let's go to dana bash. dana, what do you think? is it promising? can they go it now? >> reporter: well, let's start there. it certainly has happened before between these two men, and it's happened before when democrats on capitol hill are either split or have gotten, frankly, just too frustrated with the republican counterparts to have conversations to be able to find bipartisan agreement. these are the two men who negotiated an extension of the bush era tax cuts for two years. that happened two years ago when republicans had a lot of political capital because they just won the house in a big way. whether or not these two men are actually going to be the ones to strike a deal, we're not sure, but we are told, our ted barrett and jessica yellin and i are told by multiple sources that it does seem that at this point, at this late hour, the talks are primarily centered around and between these two men, between mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, and joe biden, the vice presid
're shifting negotiation tactics now to a group of two. two senators, mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the two party leaders in the senate, are going to be trying to find a way to get a deal today. we know their staff is talking. we don't expect actually any necessary meetings between those two leaders right away today. we think that their chiefs of staff are going to be on the phone, via e-mail. this reported from our producer, ted barrett. perhaps tonight they'll see if the leaders can sit down and get together something to present to their various caucuses. now as i said, it was silent until yesterday. then we heard many people speaking. again, we heard from president obama this morning talking about how important it is to try and get a deal done this week. >> you meet your deadlines, your responsibilities every single day. the folks you sent here to serve should do the same. we cannot let washington politics get in the way of america's progress. we've got to do what it takes to protect the middle class, grow this economy, and move our country forward. >> that was the president's weekly add
, was senator mitch mcconnell and here we have the majority leader in the senate, harry reid. let's listen in for a second. >> the house has reported by the press and we all know, one of the plans didn't have a name, it wasn't plan b. i don't know which plan it was because they've had a number over there. but this plan was to show the american people that the $250,000 ceiling on raising taxes wouldn't pass in the house. why didn't they have that vote? because it would have passed. they wanted to kill it. the speaker wanted to show everybody that it wouldn't pass the house. but he couldn't bring it up for vote because it wouldn't pass. republicans -- a myriad of republicans think it's the fair thing to do and of course every democrat would vote for that. the republican leader finds himself frustrated that the president has called on him to help address the fiscal cliff. he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. he complains that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that wo
and schedule a vote. so the pressure is on for senator majority leader harry reid, and mitch mcconnell, be sure no republicans block the bill. for house speaker john boehner to agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor and leader nancy pelosi to predict a huge number of democrats needed to pass it. but if that plan falling through -- >> then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. >> reporter: the president's basic package has much more for democrats to like. so don't expect that to get very far, but all sides now agree the senate must first pass a bill before the house makes any kind of move. so all eyes will be on mitch mcconnell and harry reid and their negotiatorsoled up on capitol hill. the senate comes back into session at 1:00 on sunday. christi, alison? >>> and the cliffhanger continues. jessica yellin, thanks. >>> and january 1st is the deadline to make a deal on the fiscal cliff. for some states, it's a day that a series of new laws are going to take effect. let me get you clued in here. in california, talking more than 800 new laws,
the cliff. that's where senate majority leader harry reid says we're headed. can washington save us with just five days to go? >>> plus, a proposal to give guns to school principals is gaining support. we're "outfront" with an arizona sheriff who's backing that plan. >>> and the 2012 election was all about viral videos, tonight we're counting down our favorite political video of the year. let's go "outfront." >>> i'm john avalon in for erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, a stark warning from capitol hill. senate majority leader harry reid says we're all headed for fiscal disaster. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives, as we speak, with four days left before the first of the year, aren't here. >> we're now told the house will finally return to work on sunday. now, that's december 30th. in other words, less than 48 hours before we go over the fiscal cliff. meanwhile, president obama cut his hawaii vacation short to return to washington today. but has he been working on a deal? "outfront" tonight, reports fro
to be that senator reid, the democratic leader is playing bad cop and joe biden is playing good cop. he certainly has a long history of talks and bipartisan negotiations with mitch mcconnell. i want to, over the past hour, we have spoken to two republican senators, i wanted to talk to claire mccaskill, thanks very much for joining us, they just ended their almost two-hour meeting, martin, two hours, what was going on in there behind those door? >> i know you will be shocked to hear that a lot of senators wanted to talk. >> that is shocking. >> everyone wanted to have their same i think the consensus is that we all still want to try to get a deal but some of us are very discouraged that what appears to be on the table now doesn't really do anything to reduce the deficit and this was all supposed to be an exercise in bringing down our deficit and our long-term debt and where we are right now, it doesn't appear that we are getting that done and even more importantly, it appears that republicans are still trying to protect the tippy top as opposed to looking after the greater good of the economy and midd
. the president, vice president biden, senate majority leader harry reid and house minority leader nancy pelosi on the democratic side. house speaker john boehner, mitch mcconnell representing the republicans. brianna keilar live from washington. what do we expect to happen today? any new offers from the president or house speaker? >> we don't know. right now, all eyes on the senate to see what senate majority leader harry reid can cobble together to get some republican support. technically, it's still possible to come to an agreement. that said, politically is a different story, and the prospects for coming to a deal are starting to dim. right now, we're hearing a whole lot of the blame game. a lot of public posturing from both sides as they prepare for the possibility of going over the cliff. let's listen to harry reid. >> we are here in washington working while members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, the speaker of the house, john boehner, sort of retorting t
or tomorrow that will avert what we believe will be an economic disaster. >> one last question, harry reid said if you can't put something by tonight, he will put a scaled down version of what the president has asked for with regard to tax cuts on the senate planned for of course that is raising taxes on everybody making above $250,000 a year. do you think, knowing your republican colleagues, that enough republicans will cross over the democratic side and allow that to pass, if -- even if it's 60 votes needed? >> you know, it's hard to say until we know exactly what might be in it. this -- this is what i would say about that. if that's where we end up and if he decides to move a bill onto the floor and maybe could pick up the house passed extension of all the rates, hr-8, as a vehicle for that he ought to open it up to the amendment process, give us an opportunity to debate some of these things that we think ought to be a part of t what he will more than likely do, if history is any guide in this, is take a bill and felt amendment tree and prevent republicans from having an opportunity to
there and talking to people, and where are we on this? >> well, the senate majority leader harry reid was on the floor moments ago saying that the senate will reconvene at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. the senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11:00 tomorrow, and that means no senate votes tonight which is not good news for everybody looking at the calendar and looking at the watch at this point and not the calendar to see that it is midnight tomorrow night that everybody's taxes in this country will go up. simply put, both sides are not at a place where they believe that they can come up with anything to put on the senate floor for a vote tonight. they will give it until the actual deadline, december 31st tomorrow, to reconvene. however, senator reid did say, don, that talks will continue tonight, so that is a good sign at least that the talks are continuing, but the fact that they are not voting tonight when everybody expected this would be the last, the last threshold tonight is not so good. now, during the afternoon, there were several meetings and actually two big meetings i should say. the d
these prevent it, in control of whether or not your taxes go up come new year's day. harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell, house speaker john boehner and house democratic leader nancy pelosi met at the white house yesterday afternoon with the president and vice president. here's where things stand right now. the senate leaders are meeting aiming to avoid tax hikes. and they may vote on a deal sunday or perhaps on monday. jessica yellin is our chief white house correspondent. lisa day jar dayne is on capitol hill. the president used his bully pulpit to reinforce the idea that senators need to get busy. so let's listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable, why everything always has to wait till the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. >> so jessica, you were
gap measure, temporary measure before the new year? >> well, you just heard from senator reid he's pessimistic. i told you he's probably one of the biggest pes mists on the planet but i think in this particular case he has good reason to be pessimistic. the one thing that i think is important to also note is that what reid is telling people privately, i'm told, is that he doesn't want to bring anything up for a vote unlil he is sure it will pass both houses of congress and one of the reasons for that is a political one. he knows republicans won't want to take a vote to effectively increase taxes for that reason, to say i did it because i want to make sure most americans kept their tax cuts in place but also because of the markets. they really feel here if they take a failed vote and we still go over the fiscal cliff it will make the market reaction even worse than it would be if the fiscal cliff just happens which is not going to be a good scene probably. >> dana, that ing you very much. we'll be back with you in a half hour. >>> the adupgs of a russian child was almost complete.
and they are scattered throughout the country and taxes are going up on january 1st. let's listen to harry reid. he is not happy about the house and being away. he is the top senate democrat. >> we are here in washington working. we have the house of representatives out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> here's a reality. reid said it's beginning to look to him as though we will plunge over the cliff come tuesday. they are keeping an eye on washington to see what develops. since it looks as though we are headed for higher taxes, i want to bring in terry savage, a personal finance expert for the chicago sun times. terry, let's walk through the higher taxes. we heard little class families are likely to lose $2,000 a year. you break it down this way for single earners making $85,000 a year if their take home pay is $2500 every two weeks. when the higher taxes kick in, they will see their pay go down $120. that's not a little. we are taking a major hit. >> this is big money. almost $400 a month. when you add up a cou
and harry reid. republicans mitch mcconnell and john boehner. those four members of congress are expected to make the drive from the capital, which you see on the right, down pennsylvania avenue, to the white house, there on the left. and we expect them to enter through a side door on the west side of the mansion. that's the entrance right there. and they'll meet with the president. in the oval office. beginning, we're told, at 3:00 p.m., less than one hour from now. and just four days ahead of the so-called fiscal cliff. so a very big moment in the nation's capital. and to walk us through what might happen we turn to jessica yellin, a chief white house correspondent. jessica, we said up front, it is a long shot, give us a best case scenario. >> reporter: the best case scenario would be that all the leaders walk out of this meeting and say they have a deal. the two senators say they can bring it to a vote, and none of their members will filibuster it. house speaker john boehner says he will bring it to the house floor for a vote before new year's eve and house minority leader nancy pelosi
on senate majority and minority leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell, to lay out a deal. >> if we don't see an agreement between the two leaders and the senate, i expect a bill to go on the floor. and i have asked senator reid to do this. put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on middle class families don't go up. that unemployment insurance is still available for two million people. and that lays the ground work for deficit reduction and economic growth steps that we can take in the new year. but let's not miss this deadline. >> as for the leaders they sounded a bit more hopeful than the president. >> i think it was a very positive meeting. there was not a lot of hilarity in the meeting. everyone knows how important it is. it is a very serious meeting and it would take an extended period of time as you know, waiting for us. >> i share the view of the majority leader. we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommenda
much all this would cost going into senator reid's office and then that payment heading over to the republican side. manila envelopes changing hands. so all that is a good sign that there are discussions and progress being made, at least they are talking, don. things could be worse. >> okay. so this may be a little bit redid you know danlt, but i want you to go in specifically for me. president obama says he wants another plan put to a vote if the senate fails to come up with a plan. so what is the president's plan, and will republican leaders let that happen? >> well, okay. so senate majority leader harry reid, a democrat, has crafted an alternative proposal that he has -- saying he will put -- if the negotiations i just described fail and if the senators cannot come to a bipartisan agreement, then the democratic leader is going to put on the floor a democratic proposal that would extend tax rates for households that make $250,000 and less. hatch the alternative minimum tax and extend unemployment insurance. so that's a democratic proposal. the problem with that is, you can
, senator harry reid says he's readying a bill for a vote by monday. all this follows a rare face-to-face closed door meeting at the white house today between all the key players, the president, the vice president, the treasury secretary and all four congressional leaders huddled together with just four days to go before we all go overs fiscal cliff. that meeting lasted for an hour and five minutes. on a story where every second and every maneuver counts, let's get chief to white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, the president says he's modestly optimist being but each also presented a backup plan. does the president really think it will come to that? >> at this point, no, they don't, john, because the white house is hopeful that the agreement that the senators are working on can actually move forward after the meeting here. there is a modest uptick in enthusiasm about that possibility. but as forts backup plan, there's no real likelihood that would ever come to a vote because republicans would likely block it in both the senate and might -- it would likely not come to
. senate majority leader harry reid says we're all headed for fiscal disaster. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives, as we speak, with four days left before the first of the year, aren't here. >> we're now told the house will finally return to work on sunday. now, that's december 30th. in other words, less than 48 hours before we go over the fiscal cliff. meanwhile, president obama cut his hawaii vacation short to return to washington today. but has he been working on a deal? "outfront" tonight, reports from both ends of pennsylvania avenue. chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, and senior congressional correspondent, dana bash. jessica, first, to you, the president's back in washington, wheels down. he left his christmas vacation early. but was this just a bit of showmanship, or has he been working on something specific? >> reporter: hey, john. well, today has been a bit of a quiet day here at the white house. publicly, the president has been scarce, no sign of him. behind closed doors, i'm told a
possible we've learned from sources as senate majority leader harry reid works to get republican support in the senate, which he will need if he's going to pass a bill. and so we're still waiting to see exactly what it will look like that the white house wants for the threshold on income tax rates to cut off at $250,000. we will see if that ultimately is what senate majority leader reid rolls out. as of this point in time, we're expecting this to be a limited measure to deal just really with the fiscal cliff, which was supposed to be appear incentive to deal with the long-term fiscal health of the country. not part of this, obviously looking at a big package. >> can you do this even if everything goes right? getting through the two houses. i don't think the house is anywhere near -- they couldn't get a million collars for the cap of the tax rates expiring. so what is the position of the white house aides and the people are you talking to there in terms much getting a deal done? >> well, the difference would be, and when you remember plan "b" failed. it failed to garner enough support amo
of house speaker john boehner and the job that he's doing. you know, senate majority leader, harry reid has got an approval rating just a little bit above that, 34% for his role in the fiscal cliff negotiations. >> let's move on to other polling information. which i agree is prety long-term. locking out to 2016 now, what is the potential impact on all of this say on who could replace the current president of the united states. what are we seeing? >> well you know, that's right. the future is very fascinating. we took a look in a poll that we released today, the cnn/orc poll that looked at republicans and democrats. we asked senators from both parties, who they support. let's take a look at the parties. here's the lineup, for the democrats it's secretary of state hillary clinton. she's far and away ahead of the pack with what, 85% of those who said they would support her. she's got a 20-point lead over the next front-runners, which is vice president joe biden. new york governor andrew cuomo, the son of mario cuomo is in third with 56%. >> a lot of that i would guess is probably just simply b
break down, the president asked harry reid to prepare a separate bill to put on the floor of the senate that would raise taxes on households that earn $250,000 or more. now, that's really a democratic proposal and you could expect republicans to block it, so, rather than thinking of that as a stop gap measure, probably think of it as a political measure to shift the responsibility for failure on to republicans just before the nation hits the hour of wreckening. alison? >> thanks. >>> lawmakers could vote as early as today and when it happens, you can watch live coverage right here on cnn. >>> the president will continue to plead his case for a deal today. he's making his first appearance on a sunday talk show in more than three years. he'll be on nbc's "meet the press." he'll call for an immediately vote for congress on a scale-back plan that would only extend middle class tax breaks if the negotiations fail. >>> other news now, second degree murder as a hate crime. that's the charge facing erica menendez. she is the woman accused of shoving a man to his death in front of a subway strai
from its christmas vacation to work on a deal today. sources tell us majority leader harry reid will be pushing a scaled back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out last week. it moved the tax hike needle to $400,000 per household. no word yet on when the house might come back with time ticking away. democrats are hoping that a scaled back plan could get through the house, senate and white house before that big ball drops on 2013. that would be sometime on december 30th or even on new years eve. we want to bring in jonathan allen. he's a senior national correspondent for politico. the top headline on politico is fiscal cliff deal increasingly unlikely. i think a lot of people are feeling that pessimism right now. what are you hearing? >> well, i think what you've got here, alena, is a nash equilibrium to borrow from economic theory and game theory. each of the players believe they are pursuing their optimal strategies given the strategies of the other players and there's no reason to change it. i think as observers of this, the american public, you can
on a deal. now, sources tell us majority leader harry reid will push a scaled-back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out on friday, which moved the tax hike needle to $400,000. no word yet on when the house of representatives might come back, but democrats say the only hope we have of something getting through the house, the senate and the white house may be a very last-minute deal. cnn radio's lisa is following developments on capitol hill right now. the ball is in senate majority leader harry reid's court it would seem right now, lisa. >> that's right. harry reid and the senate seem to be the only game in town right now with the senate returning today. we also know from sources, ali, that over this christmas break there were no conversations between the president and top-level republicans. sources from both parties are telling us they are watching the senate, especially the democratic leadership in the senate. we also know yesterday house republicans came out with a statement saying that he will act only after the u.s. senate acts. we're not sure what the se
connle and harry reid, the top republican and top democrat in the senate, they have shifted between mitch mcconnell and vice president joe biden. that's where all of the action is right now. keeping the speaker of the house john boehner abreast of what's going on. keeping harry reid abreast of what's going on and keeping president obama abreast of what's going on. we heard from senator reid yesterday that they are very far apart. not just talking on the threshold, initially president obama said $250 mi,000. there is talk to bumping that to $400,000. republicans want to know how we pay for it. there are farm subsidies, the doc fix. and spending cuts. so there is a lot to be resolved here in the next few hours. >> too bad we only found out about this, you know, yesterday or the day before. 517 days they've had to work out the details and now we're talking about them all. brianna, we'll be busy today and may be ringing in the new year together. brianna keilar in washington. >>> a ball dropping in washington, a ball dropping in times square it looks like we'll go off the fiscal cliff. here's wha
connell, the democratic leadership of harry reid. i assume their staff people are writing it. >> you assume. my point is the legislator is i distrust any secret process that doesn't stand the light of day, doesn't have open hearings, isn't published. boehner promised at one point he would publish things for three days before they voted on them. i thought that was a good idea. obama campaign promising the negotiations would be on c-span. what they're doing right now is fundamentally wrong and not likely to help very much, and just leads us to the next crisis, which will be over the debt ceiling, to be followed by another crisis. >> i'm going to ask you to stick around if you can. >> unfortunately, i can't, but i do want to wish you a happy new year despite the fact that you're in washington. >> mr. speaker, to you and the entire family, we wish you a happy new year as well. we'll see you back here in washington at some point, i'm sure. >> take care. >> thank you very much. we'll get senator rand paul's perspective on what's going on. the republican senator from kentucky, when we come back. i plugged i
on senate majority on minority leads are harry reid on mitch mcconnell to work out a deal on then present it to the house. he also laid out a scaled down mini deal if they are can't manage it. >> if we don't see an agreement between the two leaders in the senate, i expect a bill to go on the floor, i asked senator reid to do this, put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on miedddle class families don' go up, that unemployment is still available for 2 million people on that lays the groundwork for additional deficit reduction on economic growth steps that we can take in the new year but let's not miss this deadline. >> as for the two senate leaders, they spoke shortly after the meeting on sounded a bit more hopeful than the president. >> i think it was a very positive meeting. there was not a lot of hilarity in the meeting. everyone knows how important it is. it's a very serious meeting on it took an extended period of time, as you all know waiting for us. >> mr. president, i would just add -- i share the view of the majority leader, we had a good meeting down at the white house
mitch mcconnell and harry reid. i have never seen those cuts, so i'd love to take those up on the senate floor. let me just say this, like every american, i'm disgusted with where we are. i know people are irritated at the president, they're irritated at congress, as they should be. there's no question that in the next few days or next few weeks, we're going to rescue most of the american people from a tax increase. we're going to do it. better to do it over the next day or two. but what hasn't happened in this debate is any discussion about real reductions, reforms in medicare and social security, to save those. i think that is totally irresponsible. >> but there's -- look, here's where we are. there is not time for you to reform entitlements between now and midnight on the 31st. so here is your choice. you either allow tax rates to go up on everyone -- >> we're going to deal with that. >> or try to protect some people. >> i would bet my life over the next very short period of time, 98 to 99% of the people in the country are going to be rescued. what's been missing in this debate candy,
was saying to wolf before, it is very hard to imagine at this late day and this late hour that harry reid and mitch mcconnell will agree to anything that won't get a majority of votes in both of their caucuses. but then the next move is obviously going to be the house, which is where i am right now. i'm with a republican member of the house, darrell issa. thank you for joining us. can you react to what the president said? >> i think i'm pleased there may be a deal, bring some certainty to the american people. i'm disappointed that the president took the eve of what might be a bipartisan deal to take a swipe at congress once again. i think the president fails to understand what senator barroso said repeatedly, which is it is a failure of leadership that we're in this boat. having said that, i think all of us would like to have certainty for the american people come january 1st. >> reporter: and obviously goes without saying, excuse me, that the president, in your words, took a swipe, because there say lot of frustration, among democrats, with house republicans. they think house republicans
things between mcconnell and reid stopped working, mcconnell, highest ranked republican in the senate, reid the highest ranking democrat in the senate. we have to believe some work is being done somewhere. >> some of it is being done somewhere. talking to an aide to senator mcconnell, we understand that discussions between biden and mcconnell went into the night so this is something that they are working on, although certainly, yes, it's being left to the last minute and unclear if we'll avert the fiscal cliff. talk to snom senators, and they say we are going over the cliff. some way they think there will be a deal by tonight and a vote by tonight, but the fact is it's very iffy. here is what's not iffy. an incentive if we go over the cliff to get this done. because it is -- both sides have been preparing themselves for the blame game. it is in full swing now. president obama said, basically saying if we go over the cliff, he is really going to take aim at republicans more than he already has. >> they say it. their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a ser
>> senate majority leader reid asked to negotiate. boehner says he will not bring anything to vote in the house until it has passed the senate. nearly every american will see a tax increase starting january 1st and unemployment benefits will expire for millions. >> ordinary folks do their jobs, they meet deadlines. they sit down and they discuss things and then things happen. if there are disagreements, they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elected leadership can't do the same thing is mind boggling to them. it needs to stop. >> in washington, i'm stacy cohan. >> uncertainty over the fiscal cliff is having a ripple effect from washington to wall street. u.s. stocks ended the session on friday in the red for the fifth straight day. a triple digit loss for the dow which tumbled 158 points, the nasdaq lost almost 26 points. the s&p 500 shed almost 16 points. and the gridlock in washington could help the current congress make history as the most unproductive ever. it's amazing. a review by the huffington post shows 219 bills have been passed this session, that's comp
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